So the other day my 20.1″ Widescreen Viewsonic monitor started acting funny and turning off on me (this is my 2nd one that has died), so I replaced it with a 22″ Widescreen Xbrite and the new monitor rocks! I figured I would send the Viewsonic back again and have it replaced again, but I thought I would give it another shot as-is first. It seems to run fine unless I leave it on for 12-24 hours at a time so I decided to take it to my office.
Since I already have 2x 17″ Flat Panels at my office, I was going to need another video card to support more than 2. After a little researching on the net, I jumped on Newegg.com and found myself a couple dual-head PCI video cards to throw in with my ATI Radeon X1650 PCIe. I got 2 because the only Radeon series for under $100 were either 1xDVI+1xVGA or 2xDVI Low Profile. I got one of each. The first one I received was a VisionTek Radeon 7000 64MB PCI ($34.99). I installed the card and plugged in my 20.1″ Viewsonic and turned on the computer – no joy. I installed the drivers and prayed it wouldn’t mess up my X1650. Drivers installed no problem, but still no display. Restarted – no display. Now I could see the other card and the monitors in the dislpay properties, but when I “attached” them they didn’t do anything. I restarted it again and went into the BIOS and changed Init Display First from PCIe to PCI Card. I saved the changes and booted into windows – whalah! 3 monitors – all playing nicely :). The computer seems like it’s going to die when it starts up because everything slows down to a crawl for a little while, but then it works as expected. This 3-monitor setup seems very efficient to me. I’ll have to report back after I’ve used it for a while.
ATI Radeon X1650 PCIe 512MB Dual Head (2x DVI)
ATI Radeon 7000 PCI 64MB Dual Head (1x DVI, 1x VGA)
2x Dell 17″ Flat Panels
1x Viewsonic 20.1″ Widescreen Flat Panel